Ocean-front diplomacy

Never let it be said that Obama doesn’t think ahead:

President Obama announced sweeping changes to U.S. policy with Cuba on Wednesday, moving to normalize relations with the island nation and tear down the last remaining pillar of the Cold War.

Under the new measures, the United States plans to reopen its embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce within the next several weeks and months, Obama said. Speaking from the White House, he declared that a half-century of isolation of the Communist country “has not worked.”

“It’s time for a new approach,” he said.

The history-shaping overtures come after more than 18 months of secret negotiations with the Cuban government of President Raul Castro. The final touches appeared to be arrangements for a series of simultaneous prisoner releases.

It’s probably one of the smartest moves of his presidency, if not the smartest. Cubans don’t vote for Democrats anyhow, and no one gives a damn about them anymore since they’re massively outnumbered by Mexicans now. It’s all upside for Obama; no doubt there are plenty of big-money interests just slavering to snap up Cuban real estate.

I’d be astonished if he doesn’t come out of it with a sweet post-presidential villa.